Grabbing a handful of nuts as a snack is a convenient way to get some quick protein and satiating healthy fats. Like olive oil, nuts are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and phytochemicals, plus bone-strengthening magnesium. Add chopped walnuts to a salad or yogurt and cashews to a stir-fry. Pistachios, almonds, and inexpensive peanuts are also great choices.
What is the raw food diet? A raw foodist avoids heat-processed grains and most animal products (although some consume raw fish, milk and meat); raw foodists eat nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, fruits and vegetables—ones that haven’t been heated past 118°F. To make our healthy recipes part of a raw food diet, substitute extra virgin olive oil for cold-pressed olive oil, replace vinegar with raw apple cider vinegar, use raw sugar in place of sugar and raw honey in place of honey.
Below are some of the most popular superfoods and the benefits they provide. When adding superfoods to your diet, be aware that unprocessed, natural varieties offer the most benefits. Foods can quickly lose their nutrient-rich superiority when processed or sugar is added for flavor. For example, green tea provides many antioxidants that your body needs, but is often processed using inferior tea and brewed with copious amounts of sugar, lessening its health benefits.
The raw food lifestyle changed all my former party girl ways. The thought of sitting in a smoky bar while drinking all night seemed absurd when everything else in my life was now so clean. I much preferred to stay at home experimenting in the kitchen on a new recipe, learning about raw foods and healthy living, and practicing yoga and meditation than going out partying on a Friday or Saturday night. I had found a new passion, and that really fueled me more than any of more former bad habits had.
These tiny fish are the unsung stars of the sea. With 23 grams of protein per can and a truckload of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, they're an easy way to load up on nutrients. They're also low in mercury and high in calcium, making them a smart fish pick for pregnant women. If the flavor doesn't appeal to you, soak them in milk for an hour to help cut down on the fishiness.
The way its proponents talk, raw food can sound like a magic potion served in a salad bowl. "When I transitioned to an all-raw lifestyle," says Karyn Calabrese, a restaurateur in Chicago, "I felt like I could walk on water. I didn't just stop aging; I began to feel as if I were actually growing younger." The 64-year-old—who could easily pass for 40—is brimming with energy. It's enough to make you want what she's having, which might be a portobello napoleon with "blue cheese" made from cashews, or an avocado puree with wakame and olives wrapped in nori.
The first general criticism of the use of the term "superfood" is that, while the food itself might be healthful, the processing might not be. For example, green tea has several antioxidants. But green tea sold in the United States is generally cut with inferior teas and brewed with copious amounts of sugar. The Japanese and Chinese generally do not drink green tea with sugar. Many kinds of super-juices — acai berry, noni fruit, pomegranate — can be high in added sugar.
Raw foodists can be vegans and eat no animal products, vegetarians, who eat dairy products and eggs but no meat, or omnivores who eat both vegetables and meat, so long as their food is raw. The majority tend to be vegetarians or vegans who prefer to eat uncooked, unheated, unprocessed organic food. Some go so far as to advocate that the raw foodist grow his or her food instead of purchasing it from commercial growers.
A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003 showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.
There’s no medical evidence that a single food cures cancer, but there are hundreds of studies that show certain foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids that help the body protect itself against damaged cells, cancer-causing chemicals, and tumors. From fruits and veggies to favorite seasonings, add these ingredients to your plate several times a week to lower cancer risks.
The occasional salad here and there probably won’t do much harm. If you’re eating raw foods on a daily basis, you might want to take a look at whether they could be contributing to any health issues you might be having. I don’t advocate cooking all foods. Some foods should be eaten raw or cooked minimally such as raw milk, cheese, and eggs. Happy eating!
Plus, eating a raw food diet means you're slashing the consumption of processed foods. That's a good-for-you idea whether or not you're following the raw food diet, as cutting them out could prevent weight gain, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers analyzed the diets of more than 120,000 Americans over two decades, and they found that people who consumed sugary drinks, processed meat, and chips regularly were most likely to put on the pounds.
18. Beans High in protein and low in cholesterol, beans of any variety can add a healthy twist to any dish (even brownies!). They're also loaded with fiber, folate, and magnesium, and studies have shown that legumes (like beans) can actually help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers (at least in rats…) The cholesterol-lowering effect of black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) without hulls in hypercholesterolemic rats. Rosa, CO, Costa, NM, Leal, PF, et al. Departamento de Nutrição e Saúde, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brasil. Archivos latinoamericanos de nutricion 1998;48(4):299-305. Consumption of black beans and navy beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) reduced azoxymethane-induced colon cancer in rats. Hangen, L, Bennick, MR. Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Nutrition and Cancer 2002; 44(1):60-5..
A staple of nearly every civilization on earth in one form or another, fermented foods are some of the healthiest things about eating a raw food diet. Fermented foods are raw and naturally develop probiotics during the period when they undergo fermentation, which happens when oxygen converts some of their nutrients. Fermented foods have been eaten for thousands of years in the form of yogurt, kefir, sourdough breads, kombucha, and cultured vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi and kvass.

A tasty portable snack, these subtly sweet nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol. Although munching on almonds during any part of your day is a smart choice, getting your daily serving before you hit the gym can actually help you stay even slimmer. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that the amino acid L-arginine, which almonds are brimming with, can help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts.
The raw food diet involves exactly what it sounds like: a whole lot of raw food. The foods you consume can be raw (cold) or slightly warm, but nothing can be over 118 degrees. While some followers of the raw food diet allow raw fish, eggs, meat, and unpasteurized dairy into their ingredients list, it's more common to stick to mostly organic, uncooked, and unprocessed foods. Think vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, and some sprouted grains. Vegans and vegetarians may feel right at home on this plan.
With its trifecta of carbs, protein, and fat, Greek yogurt can keep you full and ward off hunger by keeping blood sugar levels steady. Instead of choosing the non-fat kind, go for 2 percent or one with whole milk—selecting non-fat is a surefire way to wind up hungry soon after downing your meal. A single cup of Fage Total 2 Percent has 170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and a whopping 23 grams of protein.
Greens are good, Green Superfoods are even better! Green superfoods have the highest concentrations of easily digestible nutrients, fat burning compounds, vitamins and minerals to protect and heal the body. They contain a wide array of beneficial substances including proteins, protective photo-chemicals and healthy bacteria helping you to build cleaner muscles and tissues, aid your digestive system function and more effectively protect you against disease and illness.
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That's a lot of heavy lifting. And, of course, no one food can do it all. The occasional kale salad can't mask an otherwise crummy diet. Blueberries sprinkled over a bowl of SugarDoodle Snax ain't so super. A more winning approach is to combine nutrient density with nutrient diversity and eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, lean proteins (including nuts and seeds), and healthy fats (like olive oil). Eating a variety of whole foods ensures that you get the full range of nutrients your body needs, including fiber, potassium, calcium, essential fatty acids, and so on.
Superfoods pack a punch that’s pleasing to your palate and your physique. From cancer prevention and brain health to beautiful skin and weight management, adding the right foods to your daily diet makes a huge difference. Check out this list of 50 superfoods to shop for in 2015. Though the foods are broken down by major benefit, you’ll notice that champions such as blueberries, broccoli, and kale provide benefits for the entire body.
Long live the sweet potato, savior to all people looking to cut back on carbohydrates in a healthy way. "Carbohydrates are your body's preferred source of energy," Abbey Sharp, R.D. with Abbey’s Kitchen, told SELF in a previous article. "Enjoying more fiber-rich complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will be more conducive to weight loss and health in general than eating refined ones, which can spike blood sugar quickly." That’s where sweet potato comes in, serving up 41 grams of healthy carbs and 7 grams of fiber (keep the skin on!) per cup.
6. Oatmeal High in fiber, antioxidants, and tons of other nutrients, this breakfast staple has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, and even improve metabolism Can dietary oats promote health? Welch, RW, Human Nutrition Research Group, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. British Journal of biomedical science, 1994 Sep;51(3):260-70.. And it's downright delicious— especially when flavored like pumpkin pie!
All that restriction also puts you at greater risk of nutrient deficiency. “It’s difficult to maintain a 100% raw food diet and get all of the nutrients you need,” says Fourutan. Missing out on meat, dairy and fish cuts back on healthy protein sources and fats like omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins like B12, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin D. And if you skip beans and grains – which are tastier when cooked – you’ll also miss out on good sources of fibre, notes Sharp.
The company Tahitian Noni began selling noni juice in 1996 and achieved billions of dollars in sales during their first 10 years.[18] Earlier reports showed pomegranate-based products grew nearly 400% over 2005–2007 from new product launches, a gain that exceeded the previous 6 years.[19] Similarly, sales of XanGo, a multiple-fruit juice containing mangosteen juice, grew from $40 million in 2002 to $200 million in 2005.[18]

Making an omelet? Forget separating the white from the yolk and embrace the whole egg! The healthy fats within the yolks can help you feel fuller longer and curb cravings, explains Kayleen St. John, RD. Not to mention, choline—a belly fat-blasting nutrient—is only present in the orange part of the egg, rather than the whites, that most dieters tend to avoid. Next time you’re whipping up a scramble, crack the whole egg, yolk and all, into the pan.
Alternative medicine—A system of healing that rejects conventional, pharmaceutical-based medicine and replaces it with the use of dietary supplements and therapies such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, massage, and cleansing diets. Alternative medicine includes well-established treatment systems such as homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as more-recent, fad-driven treatments.
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Another broad category, whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat, oats, bulgur, and barley. Quinoa, technically not a grain, is usually included alongside grains on superfood lists. Whole grains are "whole" because they've held onto their nutrient-rich bran and germ, which are otherwise stripped out during the refining process. Whole grains help slow spikes in blood sugar and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglyceride, and insulin levels. Recent studies, including Harvard's Nurses' Health Study, the Iowa Women’s Health Study, and a large meta-analysis, found health benefits from eating whole grains that include reduced risks of heart disease and of developing type 2 diabetes. In general, people who ate whole grains appeared to have longer lifespans (fewer deaths from non-cardiac, non-cancer causes). Meanwhile, essential minerals (like magnesium, selenium, and copper) in whole grains might protect against certain cancers.
Raw food diets are one of those eating plans that seems to have a perennial buzz—people always want to know if they should hitch their healthy-eating wagons to this way of life. This is especially true because celebrities like Tom Brady and noted beautiful person Gisele Bündchen follow an 80/20 raw diet (so, they eat raw 80 percent of the time and have cooked foods for the remaining 20 percent), making it even more intriguing.

Curcumin, this bright-colored root spice’s main antioxidant, has shown to prevent a plethora of ailments from inflammation to cancer. Good thing you can easily reap its benefits by sprinkling turmeric into practically anything! (We especially love it on over-easy eggs.) To enhance its effects, pair turmeric with black pepper, as the latter activates the former’s bioavailability.

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The "exotic fruit of the year" will surely be on any superfood list, too. This might be acai berry, noni fruit, dragon fruit, rambutan or pomegranate. These fruits might be healthful, but scientific studies do not show that they are more healthful than other, less exotic (and therefore less expensive) fruits, such as blueberries. Some of these fruits may be particularly dense in certain kinds of nutrients. Pomegranate, for example, contains ellagitannins (ellagic acid), which have known anti-cancer properties. But red raspberries, which are arguably just as delicious as pomegranate seeds, also contain ellagic acid. 
The thing that ties various raw food diets together is that generally no foods that have been pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives are included. This means avoiding, or at least greatly reducing, most popular packaged and processed foods sold in the grocery store like breads, bottled condiments, cereals, crackers, cheese, refined oils and processed meats.

So, while I do recommend cooking vegetables in as little water and as little time in heat as possible (no boiling!) and eating lots of raw fruits and veggies, your entire diet does not need to consist of raw foods only. Most people need to eat more fruits and vegetables, yes—but even if they lose a bit of nutritional value via your cooking method, the overall health benefits of eating the rainbow are impossible to deny.


Bloating and gas are another unpleasant side effect of the raw food diet. “A lot of raw vegetables are rich in insoluble fibers that we don’t digest, which get fermented in the gut by bacteria, causing gas. Cooking helps to soften those fibers,” says Sharp. “People with IBS especially may find that a raw diet is particularly hard on their gut and causes digestive distress.”

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we believe that raw foods are too ‘cold’ — or yin — in nature and require too much energy from the body to digest. The cold, hard-to-digest nature of raw foods puts a damper on the body’s digestive fires. Overtime, this can weaken the body’s digestive system causing bloating, glassiness and poor absorption of the nutrients in foods. The body’s energy becomes depleted from having to support the weakened digestive system which results in less energy for other bodily functions such as reproductive organs. I often tell my patients to lightly cook their vegetables by steaming, sautéing, or baking.
Four years ago, Gena Hamshaw started shifting toward a mostly raw diet. "Not only did I feel better," says the certified clinical nutritionist, who writes a blog called Choosing Raw, "but, more importantly, I fell in love with the delicious taste of fresh food." Her advice is to start by adding simple uncooked dishes to your regular diet, like vegetable sides and blended soups. "Don't agonize over complicated recipes. Just eat a big chopped salad and you're on your way."
If you struggle with low energy, fatigue, being underweight, infertility, depression or neurological issues, loss of muscle mass, or weak bones, a vegan or vegetarian diet will likely make it harder to recover. I recommend, in addition to eating plenty of fruits and veggies, that you include some organic, pasture-raised or grass-fed animal proteins — calf liver and chicken liver, cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, raw/fermented dairy products, and pasture-raised poultry are all great options.
standard American diet. They found that the raw foodists were thinner and had a lower average body mass index(BMI) than volunteers and that their bones were lighter. However, they found no sign that the bones of the raw foodists were more likely to fracture or that they had a greater degree of osteoporosis than those of people on the standard diet. The researchers concluded that the bones of the raw foodists were lighter because they ate fewer calories and had lower body weights, but that they were healthy bones.

There’s no medical evidence that a single food cures cancer, but there are hundreds of studies that show certain foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids that help the body protect itself against damaged cells, cancer-causing chemicals, and tumors. From fruits and veggies to favorite seasonings, add these ingredients to your plate several times a week to lower cancer risks.
You should stay decently full on a raw food diet. Nutrition experts emphasize the importance of satiety, the satisfied feeling that you've had enough. Hunger shouldn't be a problem on a raw food diet. Beans and other legumes, veggies, and whole grains, which are emphasized, are believed to take longer to digest, meaning they'll keep you feeling fuller longer. You're also free to choose how many calories you want to take in, and can increase your level if you're getting too hungry.
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